By Ahmed Qassem and Mohamed Walid
Five Hashd al-Shaabi fighters were killed -- and three more injured -- by two roadside bombs that went off in Iraq’s recently-liberated Tal Afar district on Tuesday, according to a local security source.
“An explosive device and a missile planted on the main road through Tal Afar’s Al-Ayadiyah district blew up as a Hashd al-Shaabi convoy passed through the area,” Mustafa Abdul Aziz al-Khalidi, an officer in Iraq’s Interior Ministry-affiliated Rapid-Response Forces, said.
“One of those killed was a Hashd al-Shaabi commander,” al-Khalidi told Anadolu Agency. “The bodies of the dead and injured have since been taken to local field hospitals.”
A largely Shia fighting force, the Hashd al-Shaabi was formally incorporated into the Iraqi armed forces late last year.
The group played a vital role in the Iraqi army’s successful campaigns to recapture the cities of Mosul and Tal Afar from the Daesh terrorist group.
On Sunday, the army officially announced the recapture of Tal Afar (located some 65 kilometers west of Mosul) following a weeklong campaign.
No group has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s twin roadside bombings, but security officials typically blame Daesh for such violent incidents.
After overrunning much of Iraq -- including Mosul and Tal Afar -- in mid-2014, the notorious terrorist group is now the target of a wide-ranging army campaign aimed at decisively extirpating it from the country.